Voters will see renewal levy from Cuyahoga Falls Library on ballot

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
The Cuyahoga Falls Library is located at 2015 Third St. Voters in the Cuyahoga Falls City School District will decide whether to renew the library's 1.9-mill levy this fall.

CUYAHOGA FALLS – One of the issues voters in part of Cuyahoga Falls and in Silver Lake will see on the November ballot is a 1.9-mill renewal levy for the Cuyahoga Falls Library.

Laura Searle, the library’s fiscal officer, said the 5-year levy was last approved in March 2016 and generates $1.374 million per year, which is 48% of the facility’s revenues. The tax issue helps pay for operational expenses of the library such as salaries, utilities, programming, and materials. The library will continue to receive property tax money on this levy through the end of 2021, according to Searle, who noted the levy would have to be renewed by the end of 2021 to ensure uninterrupted collection of funds. The levy expires December 2021.

About 49% of the library’s $2.96 million budget comes from the State of Ohio’s Public Library Fund, according to information from the Cuyahoga Falls Library. The remaining 1% comes from sources such as grants, fines and copier use.

The levy costs the owner of a $100,000 house about $58 per year, according to information from the library. The library’s service area and taxing district is the Cuyahoga Falls City School District, which includes Silver Lake. The taxing district does not include the part of Cuyahoga Falls that is in the Woodridge School District.

“Your support of Issue 45 means strong services, collections, and programs with no tax increase for the next five years,” said Valerie Kocin, library director. “This funding provides public computer and internet access, quality programming for all ages, and maintaining vital operations even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Debbie Ziccardi, a library board member and the head of the levy campaign, said the committee was reaching out to residents through digital and print ads, direct mailing and yard signs. In addition, she said the committee has “been active on social media, sharing our message and highlighting ‘what the library means to me.’”

“The passage of Issue 45 is critical for our community,” Zicardi said. “The library has been responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars through innovative programming, collection development and adapting to the needs of the community.  It provides equal access to information and creates opportunities to learn and grow, through programming and community partnerships.” 

Cuyahoga Falls City Council on Oct. 12 unanimously approved a resolution supporting the library levy.

Alexandria Yurosko, marketing and public relations manager with the library, said that in 2019, the library circulated 893,658 items in its physical and digital collection.

Also in 2019, 15,766 people came to the library’s 634 programs. Last year, the library had 223,214 visitors, had 2,488 new cardholders and, based on card usage, have 33,356 active library parents.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com